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Monhegan Island, ME

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May 26, 2017

Seth Kellogg

There were eight members who braved the weather forecast to visit the Island this year, some staying at The Island Inn and others opting for the Shining Sail’s Fish and Maine location.  We counted a total of 74 species over the weekend.

Day 1 - The ferry ride over to the island was a bit rough, but calmer than the usual morning departure would have been.  On the way we spotted a Common Loon and some Black Guillemots.  The Island Inn had their fireplace in the lobby going when we arrived, but the rooms upstairs were quite cold.  We ventured out for a late afternoon walk, wandering to the little Ice Pond and then back to the Cove, hearing a Mourning Warbler that only gave us a glimpse.  A few other warblers also only gave us brief looks, probably also due to the cold temperatures.  A Sora was heard in the marsh and again many times each day. At the two ends of the small Island there were flocks of Guillemots with a total count of about 75.  A Perergine was circling overhead, chased by Grackles.

Day 2 – Breakfast was good with variety and quality, and much appreciated after a short morning bird walk.  Song-birds came out more easily as the day warmed.  Some highlights were a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, a White-eyed Vireo, a Philadelphia Vireo, 2 Wilson’s Warblers, a Canada Warbler, and a Summer Tanager female that another group was looking at near the back of marsh on our return from an afternoon walk to the cliffs of Whitehead.  Another big moment of the day was when the Mourning Warbler came out in the open to sing quite a few times. Two Cattle Egrets showed up browsing in the lawn across from the Monhegan House where we search and found the Orange-crowned Warbler with other groups.  

Day 3 – The morning walk was on a trail to Burnt Head and back on the trail leading to a grassy hilltop overlooking town.  It was our first experience with this trail.  From the cliff heads our scoper had two Gannets going by, and 2 Razorbills, and elsewhere 5 Laughing Gulls and 5 Common Terns.  A group of 5-6 Kingbirds and a Spotted Sandpiper were on rock levee behind Fish and Maine Inn. The most common songbirds of the trip were 6 Red-eyed Vireo, 20 Yellowthroats, 12 Redstarts, 12 Parula, 25 Yellow Warbler, 6 Magnolia, 8 Chestnut-sided, 20 Blackpoll, and 8 Black-throated Green.  There were smaller numbers or singles of Black-billed Cuckoo (heard), Wood Pewee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Swainson’s Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-White, Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Towhee, Chipping and Savannah Sparrow, and Baltimore Oriole.  We saw a Green Heron in the marsh and heard a Least Bittern call once.